Dear Church, it’s the pastor, don’t come to church this Easter

Dear Church:

I’ve been your pastor for almost 12 years. We’ve laughed. We’ve cried. We’ve danced on mountain tops. We’ve trudged through painful valleys. Some of you have been baptized. We have buried some of our brothers and sisters. We’ve prayed, served, made mistakes, and grown together.

With God’s grace, we have tried to do our broken best in the footsteps of Jesus.

And every year at Easter we gather together to praise God and ponder the miracle of the resurrection. But not this year. COVID-19 is unprecedented. And large groups shouldn’t gather to stop the spread. It’s the wise thing to do.

But don’t get me wrong. We will still praise God and celebrate the resurrection, just not in the same physical space. When I say “don’t come to church,” what I’m trying to say is “don’t come to the building.”

You already are the church. No matter who or where we are, God is on the throne. Although we’re apart, we’re not alone. You’re right. It will be different. But it will still be meaningful. Remember that the church is Jesus with his people, worshiping and serving. And as he himself said, “the gates of Hades will not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).

We will worship via live-stream, as individuals or families. Or in the quiet of our mornings. Or in the chocolate-induced frenzy of our mornings. We will open our Bibles and consider the cross, the empty tomb, and God’s great and victorious love. We will proclaim, “He is risen!” We will take time to pray. We will sing. Loudly. We will seek to love and help our neighbours when we can. The risen Son will shine. And we will be changed—yet again.

Through it all, remember this: Since God can’t lose, you can’t lose. The current crisis won’t last forever. But God will. We are his church. We are an Easter people. No. Matter. What.

Signed, very sincerely, in the name of the one “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us (Ephesians 3:20),”

The Rev. Matthew Ruttan, Pastor

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Here is what to expect at Westminster for Easter 2020:

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